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Malaysian Graduates Look For These 3 Things In a Job

Malaysian Graduates Look For These 3 Things In a Job

Malaysian graduates entering the workforce in 2020 will be walking into an uncertain future, thanks to COVID-19. Employers undergoing their own internal transformations may not be able to cater to all of their needs immediately, but ensuring a future where new staff have the opportunity to grow and succeed is key to finding calm among the chaos.

The MCO and its subsequent extensions pose another set of challenges for new graduates actively looking for jobs this season. However, there is some comfort to be found in the fact that businesses and companies - who are also attempting to pivot their products and services to suit the needs of an almost online economy - are hiring to access a wealth of fresh ideas and manpower. After all, companies still need their employees to survive and thrive.

According to our Laws of Attraction Malaysia survey, the average fresh graduate in Malaysia is mostly female (women account for 68% of the workforce) and belongs to Generation Z, with 64.6% of candidates being between the ages of 18 and 23. More than one third (39.7%) also earn below 3,000 RM per month.

While there is a tendency to write off younger employees as mysterious and hard-to-read, understanding what they value most from potential employers will help you decipher their needs and deal-breakers. To help employers in Malaysia better target young, fresh graduate candidates, we’ve outlined what our LOA data says about what these eager young professionals want most in a job.

1. Opportunities to grow 

Fresh grads in Malaysia are at the starting line of their careers, but are already looking for ways they can grow. They want employers who can provide them with exciting and fruitful opportunities to further their professional goals, and value things such as promotions and training opportunities ahead of other key factors such as salary and work-life balance. This is likely due to being eager to maintain a stable job with the ability to negotiate better pay, or eventually prioritise work-life balance as they start or expand their families.

Nearly two-thirds (63.5%) of fresh graduates are looking for promotion opportunities. Over half (54.4%) want to achieve this by being offered learning and development programmes, such as on-the-job training and skill development. Those working in technical roles want training to develop specific skills so they can succeed in their specialised area of expertise.

Fresh graduates who want to climb the corporate ladder expressed an interest in leadership training programs, with 37.3% of talent stating it is a “must”. Over one third hope to further their higher education with help from their employers, in the form of sponsorships, subsidies and scholarships.

2. Fair and competitive monetary compensation

Fresh graduates in Malaysia expect to be provided with a fairly sophisticated remuneration package in return for their efforts. Simply paying them a regular monthly salary and calling it a day will not convince them to stick around long-term. Companies must step up and provide a suite of other financial rewards, with insurance, allowances and bonuses being some of the more commonly requested financial musts.

Other than base salary, the most requested financial reward is double pay for work done during public holidays, with 76.9% of Malaysian graduates considering it a “must”. More than one third (65.9%) also want insurance protecting life, income and health, while over 50% expect to receive a fixed allowance to claim items such as meals, parking, transportation and telecommunication.

Bonuses are also highly sought-after, and could be key in showing talent appreciation. In fact, 53.4% and 52.6% of talent want performance-based and guaranteed bonus (regardless of company or personal performance) respectively. Those in contract positions expect bonuses, too, with 46.6% of talent wanting a contract completion bonus at the end of their stint.

3. Striking the perfect balance

Malaysia’s fresh grads are not about all work and no play - they want balance in their lives, and expect their employers to be serious about work-life balance. They are willing to put in extra work and spend their personal time on work-related projects, but only as long as they are compensated fairly for their efforts. A large 73.6% want to be paid extra for working overtime or on public holidays.

For 61%, receiving a reasonable amount of annual leave is a “must”. Having regular working hours is important to 55.3% and 48.4% of talent, who want a five-day work-week and regular daytime working hours (8am-5pm or 9am-6pm) respectively. For 48.7% of fresh graduates, employers following a no-work rule after office hours (weekends, rest days and public holidays) is of great importance.

Fresh graduates want to be in control of what they do with their annual leave, with 40.4% requiring the opportunity to cash out or go on unpaid leave. For nearly a third of new talent, flexible working hours (arriving or coming in to work later than the stipulated start time, and leaving after having worked eight hours) is a “must”.

Fresh graduates represent the future of corporate Malaysia, and employers should take the time to understand them and their needs, hopes and dreams, and build them up accordingly. 

Want to know more about fresh graduates and their expectations? Visit our interactive Laws of Attraction website to find out what the future of Malaysia expects from their careers.

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